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Pope’s plea for environment

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS): Pope John Paul II urged international leaders to find effective ways of balancing development with ecological protection, ahead of the global environmental summit which began in Johannesburg, South Africa last week.

The idea of an “ecological vocation” has become an urgent moral responsibility in today’s world, the Pope said at a blessing on August 25.

As the Pope was addressing pilgrims at his summer villa outside Rome, a seven-person Vatican delegation was heading to the August 26-September 4 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development.

“In an increasingly interdependent world, peace, justice and the protection of the created world must be the fruit of a firm commitment by all to promote the common good,” the Pope said.

“People have been placed by God as administrators of the earth, to cultivate it and protect it. From this follows what we may call their ‘ecological vocation’, which has become more urgent than ever in our time,” he said.

In preparation for the Johannesburg summit, the Vatican recently published a book summarising basic principles and recent developments in the Church’s environmental teaching.

Catholic Church Insurance

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